In a major vote of confidence in the London property market, Great Marlborough Estates has acquired Empire House, a vacant office building overlooking Chiswick High Road for redevelopment into housing.
The deal, which was negotiated during lockdown and is one of the largest residential transactions to take place since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, will see 137 homes delivered, providing a range of apartment types and townhouses. Great Marlborough Estates acquired the consented one-acre site from Lendlease.
Great Marlborough Estates, a RIBA award-winning developer will revamp and extend Empire House, a vacant office tower, to create 66 high-quality apartments, comprising a mix of predominantly one- and two-bedroom homes.
At Essex Place, which sits behind Chiswick High Road, 46 apartments and four townhouses will be built, with a further 21 apartments developed at the corner of Essex Place and Acton Lane.
In line with changing consumer tastes post-lockdown, each home will benefit from private outdoor space in the form of either a balcony or garden.
Generous amenity space will include roof terraces and an elegant new facade being designed to complement the area’s surrounding townscape. At ground level, an additional 9,000 sq. ft. of retail and leisure space spread across two units will be created.
Designed by Assael Architecture, the development will be sympathetic to the heritage of the surrounding area, drawing inspiration from the red-brick buildings and greenery of Chiswick High Road, with a distinctly contemporary look.
The townhouses will boast soft red brick tones, reminiscent of the area’s historic buildings, with large windows to maximise natural light and connect each home to the surrounding public realm and residents square.
Upon completion, the scheme will make a significant contribution to Chiswick’s public realm, transforming the area between Chiswick Park station and Essex Place into a pedestrian-friendly zone that will benefit residents and the wider community.
Great Marlborough Estates, founded by Grant Lipton and Dean Clifford, is behind more than £1.5bn of residential development across London.
The company was the development advisor behind the restoration of John Nash’s Regents Crescent, Regents Park into 67 luxury apartments and nine mews houses, as well as recently securing planning permission for the Zaha Hadid-designed skyscrapers overlooking Vauxhall station that will provide a mix of new housing, public realm and workspace and also a hotel.
JLL advised Great Marlborough Estates on the acquisition. Knight Frank advised Lendlease.
Grant Lipton, co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates, said: “Whilst Covid-19 has undoubtedly created some uncertainty, we remain committed to the long-term outlook for London and the capital’s property market thanks to strong underlying fundamentals. London will remain a preeminent global hub for business, culture and leisure, all of which will feed into demand for housing in the city.
“Acquiring this site in Chiswick marks a significant milestone for Great Marlborough Estates, further expanding our portfolio across London. Alongside providing high quality, well designed new homes, the redevelopment of Empire House will further enhance Chiswick High Road and open up new opportunities for the local area providing a great place for those who live, work and visit Chiswick.”
Pete Ladhams, managing director at Assael Architecture, said: “The redevelopment of this site presents a rare opportunity to reimagine and reinvigorate this part of Chiswick in a way that adds to the existing heritage and green space. We have enjoyed working with Great Marlborough Estates to repurpose the existing building to create a unique residential neighbourhood and a destination fronting on to Chiswick High Road. Our design has sought to remain contemporary, but sympathetic to the heritage and character situated on the bustling High Road and tranquillity of Turnham Green.